Pathwork Lecture 251: The Evolution and Spiritual Meaning of Marriage * New Age Marriage

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Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 251
1996 Edition
May 17, 1978

Blessed are your lives, all your thoughts, strivings, and endeavors, my dearly beloved friends. Without your deep commitment to live up to your innate potential as people of God, we could never fulfill our own tasks. We depend on your truth and love, as you depend on ours. We depend on your giving yourselves to the Creator, as you depend on our giving to Him. Let this beautiful mutual work always be blessed anew in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

His name would never elicit so much ambivalence and negativity if divine truth had not been so distorted in all areas, even concerning his life on earth and in heaven. All great divine influxes lend themselves more to distortion than the milder forms of creative manifestation. With the knowledge you have gained you can easily observe this in your lives. The great spiritual forces contained in dynamic love are more feared, resisted, and maligned than lukewarm currents. This is the deepest reason why such stringent taboos existed regarding sexual love; why releasing the spiritual forces seems to be the most threatening and dangerous experience of all. These powers are by no means merely ethereal; they encompass the whole personality and certainly include the body. This is why the Christ force, the Christ consciousness, the Christ reality has suffered so much from misunderstanding and strife.

The spiritual forces are so strong that an unpurified personality cannot bear them. To the degree that negativity and distortion exist in an individual’s mind and consciousness, these powerful currents manifest as crisis, pain, and danger. Nonetheless, to be part of these forces and receptive to them is the deep longing of every soul, consciously or unconsciously.

The development of the institution of marriage is significant from this point of view. A deeper insight is needed now so that you can widen and deepen your own understanding of marriage and use this knowledge to articulate your longing. This is always the first step toward bringing what you long for into actuality.

During the many centuries of its existence, humanity has developed in many areas. Let us consider marriage. Under standing its evolution thus far will open your vision to the future. You will view the current attitude toward this institution with the larger picture in mind. History can be properly understood only when the spiritual meaning that underlies earthly events is gleaned.

In the not-too-distant past, marriage served a number of functions, but least of all sharing, love, or mutuality on all levels of the personality. In fact, love, mutual sexual surrender and the profound exchange of dynamic energy levels was rejected and condemned. Marriage was supposed to be a financial and social contract to satisfy other personality functions and lower motives. Financial and social advantages were of primary importance. Even more significant was the absolute conviction that these motives were morally right and virtuous. Men married women who brought a good dowry and who raised men’s social image. In other words, greed and pride were glamorized and endowed with righteousness.

Men considered themselves the superiors of women. Marrying a woman meant nothing more than acquiring a slave who obeyed the master of the house; who saw to it that the man received every comfort and convenience but made no demands for herself. In exchange for these services, which included being an object for man’s mostly quite impersonal lust, the woman received material security. Her only responsibility was to be an adequate object for her master. Of course you understand, my friends, that man’s responsibility entailed much more than mere financial responsibility. Since woman was not considered a full-fledged equal, morally she was barely responsible. In those centuries emotional and mental responsibility did not exist as a concept, but they certainly existed as a fact. Even without the awareness of the concept, men acknowledged this responsibility toward other men but totally neglected it when dealing with women.

Obviously this was not only the result of men’s distortion and negativity; it was just as much the result of a strongly embedded intentionality in the woman’s psyche. Women refused self-responsibility on all levels for the longest time and therefore co-created the unequal relationship between the sexes.

Both sexes equally feared — and still fear — the powerful spiritual energies involved in the forces of love, eros, and sex between man and woman. This power is the creative stream itself from which everything is made. This powerful current can express itself in many ways, not just as a binding force between a man and a woman. It can be expressed through spiritual disciplines within an individual, merging the masculine and feminine principles and power currents within an individual soul.

The unpurified soul cannot stand this power current. To the degree unpurified soul substance festers in the personality, the power current has to be denied, suppressed, and split. Sexuality that manifests without love, commitment, and respect is just such a split-off, denied power current. Human beings who believe that pornographic or promiscuous sex is more pleasurable than the sexuality that streams from a unified wholeness and combines with love and spiritual union could not be more wrong. The precise opposite is true. But the power of such sexuality is so strong that it cannot be borne by the soul that still lives partly in darkness.

Another human error is the belief that a married couple faithful to one another is necessarily beyond the stage of split-off sexuality. The typical marriage of former times, which I described earlier, was a complete suppression, repression, and denial of the spiritual power currents. In the man this denial often manifested as an inability to experience strong sexual feelings for the woman he loved, honored, and respected. Sometimes the unconscious fear of the power current is so strong that the split is total, and a man finds himself unable to experience sexuality with a loved woman. In many cases, however, the split exists with one and the same woman. A man can give relative honor and relative love to a woman he has married, in spite of deeming her inferior, yet blot out her reality during the act of sexual union. This act can be performed only when the woman becomes a low object in the man’s mind. Pornographic sex can take place within the framework of respectable marriage and is socially fully accepted.

For the woman, the denial of the unified power current often manifested in total denial of the sexual reality of her body. Whenever her sexuality manifested in spite of all attempts to deny it, she experienced it with guilt and shame.

Today the misunderstandings about sexual guilt and repression in your world are almost as great as ever. These repressions and denials, these guilts and false shames are not merely a result of social mores and bigoted influences, but are actually products of the inability to carry the force of the fully unified power current, whose strength can be borne only by someone at least relatively liberated from negativity, fear, doubt, and destructiveness.

The strongly sexual person who experiences sexuality without love, without a deeply personal melding with a specifically chosen other, and who chooses passing partners without heart and mind and is promiscuous, is essentially no different from the moralist who is faithful to a wife with whom he engages in surreptitious mating as a marital duty. Both are afraid of the love-sex current that is unified through the power of eros, through the power of mutuality in soul development and commitment to each other, through personal purification.

The man-woman relationship of the past and the attitude toward marriage are the direct results of this fear of the unified love-sex current. Self-purification was practically nonexistent for the average person, existing only in the churches to any important degree. But there again, the full power of the current was diminished by the edict of celibacy. True, some specially gifted and advanced individuals evoked this spiritual power through their own individual endeavors. The mystical ecstasy is simply the release of a spiritual power current in which God is experienced as a living and physical reality. This can also ideally happen through the melding of a man and a woman who are sufficiently free from fear, who follow together a path of self-purification. Their union will release this inner power current so that they will experience God in themselves and in each other.

Before discussing this experience further, let us go back to the evolutionary stages of history. The picture I painted about marriage is not very attractive. Marriage as it has existed for so long was truly a more sinful estate than all the sins the moralists who perpetuated these standards condemned. These moralists directed the accusation of sin toward illicit sex; toward promiscuous or pornographic sex that could be outwardly identified. It is true that these acts indicate denial of the God-given unification of love and sexuality, of the greatest power current, which is in itself an expression of the divine presence.

In a certain sense this fear and denial is a symptom of the unpurified soul, the fallen spirit, if you will. But since you all also fulfill a task in your return to the state of union with God, it is futile to rail against this. Those who do are themselves fallen spirits, unpurified souls, and parts of this evolutionary movement. The appropriate attitude toward fear of the full power current is acceptance; gentle training is needed so that the personality can gradually acclimatize itself to this high-powered force and bear it in comfort. Ecstasy can and will become comfortable as the soul grows in stature. This happens through a process of development over many incarnations.

The real sinfulness of the attitude toward marriage that prevailed until recently resulted from secondary guilt. Instead of admitting the fear of loving an equal, the man had to put down the woman. Instead of admitting fear of loving an equal and experiencing the pleasure of sexuality, the woman had to alienate herself from the man by making him the enemy. Instead of admitting that he feared an equal relationship, the man had to make the woman an object. Instead of admitting the fear of self-responsibility on all levels, the woman made herself an object and then blamed the man for this mutual creation. Both sexes denied the fear, which in a deeper sense might be called the primary guilt, a guilt that all people share.

The denial of the fear caused secondary guilts. Some of these secondary guilts gave energy to lower-self energy. Material greed was fostered; money, power, and social advantage became motives for choosing mates. Mass images, appearances, idealized self-images were nourished; pride and vanity were elevated into false moral values. If you consider the moral indignation, the moral self-righteousness of men and women toward those who deviated from the accepted standards, you can see the strength of the secondary guilt. The mask self claimed greed, calculating self-interest, prideful appearance values, and the mutual using of each other as the highest of moral standards. Such claims go way beyond ordinary hypocrisy. A hypocrisy so deep-rooted and so pernicious required a strong uprooting; otherwise the soul could not heal. It is important, my friends, for you to see the nature of the attitude toward marriage through many, many centuries. People marrying for love were the great exceptions.

The collective state of consciousness created these conditions in most marriages of the past. The same collective state of consciousness also created karmic conditions, prerequisites for specific guidance for subsequent reincarnations. For example, the antagonism that generally existed between men and women had to manifest specifically between individual men and women to a much greater degree than it does now. It was often predestined that two such individuals had to meet as prospective marriage partners. Their elders would arrange it. This kind of union gave the scope to bring out in each person general and specific negative feelings and attitudes, which, once conscious, became the basis for transformation. Thus, my friends, the marriages made in heaven were by no means always positive unions of love and affection, attraction and respect. The negative mutuality between many individual men and women created the collective consciousness, created karmic conditions, and also created the standards of society.

In very recent times, consciousness made a great leap. Humanity has truly become ready to shed these old attitudes and create new conditions, new standards, new moral values. This can clearly be seen in your times by many drastic changes. The women’s liberation movement, the sexual liberation movement, and a very different attitude toward marriage are clearly signs of a newly emerging consciousness. These manifestations must be viewed in the light of an overall evolutionary direction, otherwise you cannot really grasp the inner meaning of these changes.

In all evolutionary movements the pendulum tends to swing from one extreme to another. This is at times inevitable, sometimes even desirable, provided the swings are limited. But when the swings are greater than necessary or desirable, fanaticism and blindness develop exactly as they did at the opposite extreme.

For example, today’s sexual freedom is a reaction to the shackles of former times. To a degree this phase is necessary until the wisdom of the new consciousness becomes complete, and commitment to one mate is experienced as freer, more liberated, and infinitely more desirable than the uncommitted free-floating exchange of partners. The cycle had to move from involuntary monogamous commitment — with concomitant limitations on personal growth for both men and women — to recognition of the debilitating effects of this attitude and a consequent libertinism and polygamous expression. From there the movement can proceed to a new groundedness in real inner freedom and independence that voluntarily chooses monogamous commitment because it yields infinitely greater fulfillment.

A particularly pernicious aspect of the old attitude toward marriage was that the sexual need as well as the need for companionship were polluted by opportunistic, materialistic, and exploitative ends. Even worse, this pollution and displacement was looked upon as if it were morally desirable. Whenever one soul current is put secretly into the service of another, both become negative. If love, eros, and sex were given their rightful places, then the real needs for success, respect from the community, and material abundance could function in a higher-self way. Humanity had to break away from the distortions, and a certain amount of upheaval became inevitable. The sexual revolution had to manifest at times in undesirable ways — but undesirable only when seen out of context.

Of course, the true lessons must be learned individually. This is exactly what I am talking about. The old ways desperately need profound change. A new sexual expression and a joyful acceptance of the sexual drive has to emerge. At the same time, individual men and women need to understand the enormous importance of the wholeness of love, eros, and sex; of affection and respect; of tenderness and passion; of trust and mutual partnership; of sharing and of helping each other. It must be understood that the committed relationship is not a moralized edict that deprives you of pleasure. Quite the contrary is true. The power current evoked through a fusion between love, respect, passion, and sexuality is infinitely more ecstatic than the power of any casual fusion could ever be. It is so powerful, in fact, that the very authorities against whom there has been so much rebellion have feared this combined current more than anyone. These authorities are not that far removed from those who allow themselves to experience sexuality only in a split-off way, cut off from the heart, removed from real intimacy and sharing.

Knowing the state into which you can and must eventually grow because it is your innate destiny is important. It is the chart without which you cannot steer your ship. But there is a subtle yet distinct difference between using this model and forceful attempts to be what you have not yet organically become. If you recognize the model without forcing yourself, you accept your human state. You know that by virtue of your humanness you cannot immediately be the ideal, totally fused individual. You know that it takes a long time, much experience, many lessons, many trials and errors, untold incarnations until your soul emerges as a complete being. You need to know that such a state exists, even if you are still quite unable to experience it. You need to know it without self-pressure, without self-moralizing, without discouragement. All these forcing attitudes are destructive and erroneous.

The attempt to enforce an ideal standard that individuals cannot possibly live up to at this time has unfortunately been made by almost all organized religions. This is why organized religion has fallen into ill repute today. The state of wholeness should be placed lightly into your consciousness, if I may use this expression. It should never become a whip. It should merely be a reminder of who you essentially are already and who you will one day become.

Just as it is foolish to turn into an atheist because of the errors of religion, so it is foolish to discard marriage altogether because of previous distortions. Before marriage began to be doubted as a valid institution by many, the attitude toward it had already begun to change considerably, especially in the last several decades. Individuals began to choose partners freely, motivated generally by love. This often led to errors, however. Too often individuals who were too young and immature to form a really meaningful union chose marriage based on superficial attraction, without deep knowledge of self or partner. No wonder such marriages could not survive. But this step was necessary before maturity could be gained.

Just as individuals cannot learn unless they experience mistakes and immaturities, neither can the collective consciousness. New ways have to be tried by both before the soul would reach wisdom and truth. The freedom to choose independently, to experience sexual and erotic pleasure, to make mistakes and learn from them, to grow into different and more mature relationships without condemning less mature ones, are all necessary to learn the real significance of marriage. It has to be seen not as a shackle imposed by a moralizing outer or inner authority, but as a freely chosen gift, the greatest, most desirable state imaginable, the keenest pleasure and fulfillment for which the soul and the personality have to become strong, resilient, mature, and capable. Bliss, ecstasy, pleasure supreme can never exist gratuitously, can never be cheaply snatched. They cannot be borne that way. They can be borne only when the personality has reached sufficient purification, security, faith, self-knowledge, comprehension of the universe, Christness.

Sexual liberation has to go through some stages that may seem exaggerated, or may even be exaggerated, before further sexual liberation — the unification of love, eros and sex — can create the new-age marriage. Fleeting sexual encounters should not be looked upon as the final state of liberation. They are, at best, a very temporary and limited phase. No one who has ever experienced this stage has ever truly been satisfied by it, not even on the merely physical level. You may delude yourself into thinking that this is the best you could hope to experience, but it is not. You may deny your deeper unfulfilled longing because some of the hitherto unfulfilled longing has been assuaged. But you have so much further to go in order to give yourself what you really need, want, desire, and what you should indeed have.

As with the sexual revolution, women’s liberation, too, had to go to some kind of extreme — at least temporarily. So some women had to become as hard, as unyielding as their greatest enemy, man, in order to experience their strength, their capacity to be independent, self-responsible, creative, and resourceful. As long as this is a passing phase from which further changes will emerge it is all right. But when this is seen as the final ideal, it becomes as damaging as the suppressed and dependent child-woman you no longer want or need to be. The new-age woman combines independence, self-responsibility, full-fledged adulthood with the softness and yieldingness that was previously associated exclusively with the dependent parasite. The new-age man combines his heart feelings, his softness, his gentleness with his strength and abilities, not like the woman, but in a complementary way. The two can form the new-age marriage.

The new-age marriage will not be formed early in life. If the participants are young, they will have reached considerable maturity as a result of a genuine, intense pathwork, such as this. The new-age marriage is a nucleus of strength, with the partners fortifying each other as well as others in a commonly undertaken task for the greater cause. The new-age marriage is totally open and transparent. There are no secrets whatever. The soul process of the pathwork is totally shared. This openness and transparency has to be learned. It is a path within the path, as it were. You need to expose your difficulty in achieving this openness, rather than denying or hiding it. If you do not expose your difficulty in being open, your unfulfillment cannot be alleviated no matter how much you try to blame it on your partner or on outer circumstances. Part of this openness consists of revealing your fear of the strong spiritual current, of the forces released by the unification of sexuality and the heart. When the fear is shared — even though you may be unable to shed the fear as yet — the obstructions will be eliminated relatively fast, and a kind of vibrant fulfillment comes even from this sharing.

In the new-age marriage, being on a path of profound self-development and bringing into the light the hidden parts of the self are the prerequisites of fulfillment in an alive and vibrant relationship. When the vibrancy ebbs away, the causes need to be explored by both partners together. There may be any number of reasons for the stagnation, none of them necessarily bad or shameful.

When all levels of the two personalities are open to each other, join and finally fuse, the intensity and vibrancy of the sexual encounter will surpass anything you can at present imagine. You deeply long for it, because this fulfillment is your birthright and your destiny. It can exist only in a partnership such as I have described: as the new-age marriage. This kind of fusion cannot come about easily. It is the result of infinite patience, growth, change, transformation. But it should live in your vision as a possibility you can indeed actualize one day.

The fusion on all levels of the personality means the fusion of all energy bodies. This is very rarely the case. You will come to know when the fusion exists only on the physical level, and when it happens on the emotional, mental, and spiritual levels. All these energy bodies exist in reality and can fuse or not according to prevailing conditions. When the fusion takes place on all these levels, you not only become one with your partner, but with God. You realize God in the mate and God in yourself. No wonder the power current is too strong to bear unless your personalities have reached a high degree of inner development and purification.

Once you realize that sexual fusion is insufficient and uninteresting unless it includes all the energy bodies in the process of coming together, your approach to a sexual encounter will become very different. Sex will never be casual or haphazard; you will consider it a holy ritual. These rituals will be created by the individual couples and may change over time. They will never deteriorate into fixed routines. The sexual encounter is a true fusion of the masculine and feminine principles as universal forces. Each sexual fusion will be a creative act, bringing forth new spiritual forms, new heights of development in the two selves that can be passed on to others. The complementary merging of these two divine aspects — the feminine and masculine forces — will create not only total fulfillment, ecstasy, and bliss, but enduring new values and a true experience of divine reality, of the Christ in the self and in the other.

My beloved friends, this lecture should by no means discourage you, no matter how far away you may seem to be from the destiny I outline here. You are moving in this direction merely by being able to comprehend this lecture, by being capable of choosing to use it in the most positive way no matter where you are. Knowing this truth will free you as any truth must free you, even if you cannot attain its realization in this life. Rejoice that it exists, that it waits for you. Know this truth as an enrichment given to you.

There exists a tremendous tension between the male and female energy currents. This tension can manifest in a positive or a negative way. If it manifests negatively, sexuality is fraught with denials such as homosexuality, repression, asexuality, impotence, frigidity, or with negative expression as in sadism, masochism, fetishism. To a degree, it may be necessary to give some expression to negatively connected sexuality, for if it is completely denied, the total personality is being thwarted and the tension is so powerfully accumulated that nonsexual violence is acted out. If these expressions occur in fantasy or in situations of mutual consent where no one is harmed or forced, they can lead to a more cohesive, connected sexuality, especially when this process is not glorified but understood in its true meaning.

When the tension manifests positively, it is truly a psychic nuclear point. The new-age marriage is a psychic nuclear point. The energy released, the creativity liberated, the mutuality of ecstasy are all deeply spiritual experiences that happen in, through, and with God. Divine sexuality must be recognized in the New Age. It is not to be found in old taboos and denials, nor in moralizing judgments about this creative force, neither is it to be found in deviations that occur as a result of incomplete development. The explosive force of the male-female tension and its release permeates the total personality and transcends the finite. It truly spiritualizes the body and materializes the spirit, which is the task of evolution.

With this, I bless you, my beloved ones. The Christ within your deepest soul fuses with the Christ consciousness and those energies that surround you and fill you with his love, his strength and his blessings.

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To my teacher Marieke Mars who taught me self-honesty. To my courageous and loving pathwork helper Dottie Titus.

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